Kezia Dugdale unveils Scottish Labour front bench team

Written by Alan Robertson on 19 August 2015 in News

Graeme Pearson returns to justice portfolio though Neil Findlay not among new line-up

Scottish Labour’s new leader Kezia Dugdale has unveiled her front bench team at Holyrood.

The Lothians MSP announced ten appointments with no new faces in the Shadow Cabinet team. 

However, in a break from tradition, the roles will not shadow government portfolios but instead reflect on what Dugdale describes as “led by Labour values”.


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Former Shadow Justice Secretary Graeme Pearson, who was replaced by Hugh Henry last December, will once again take over the justice portfolio, while Dugdale’s leadership rival Ken Macintosh has been named community spokesperson.

However, there is no return to the shadow cabinet for Lothians MSP and Jeremy Corbyn ally Neil Findlay, who had led on fair work, skills and training until his resignation in following Labour’s disastrous General Election campaign.   

The newly-elected leader will announce the junior members of her front bench team in the coming days, while conveners of the Public Audit Committee, Welfare Reform Committee, Health Committee, Public Petitions Committee and Equal Opportunities Committee will also be appointed.

Dugdale, who was joined by her equality spokesperson Jenny Marra in Edinburgh to announce the new team, said: "I am excited about the future. We all know the big task that faces Scottish Labour in the months and years ahead, but we're up for it.

“My new team has a good mix of experience and vision to start the task of renewing Scottish Labour.
"The most important goal of any party must be to ensure that the life chances of our young people are determined by their potential, work rate and ambition, not by their background. These values will drive my team in every portfolio.
"Everybody in Scottish politics needs to get up to speed with the changed mood of the nation. The public will no longer accept politicians from any party complaining about what we can't do.

“We all need to offer a positive vision of what we will do with the powers we do have."

The full list of appointments are as follows:

Equality Spokesperson (Covering health, equalities, welfare, care, social inclusion) - Jenny Marra

Opportunity Spokesperson (covering schools, childcare, skills, lifelong learning, sport, science, workplace issues) - Iain Gray

Justice Spokesperson (covering justice and policing) - Graeme Pearson

Public Services and Wealth Creation Spokesperson (covering finance, infrastructure, business, delivery of public services, tourism) - Jackie Baillie

Community Spokesperson (covering housing, local government, cities, planning, island communities) 
- Ken Macintosh

Environmental Justice Spokesperson (covering transport, environment and rural affairs, land reform, climate change, energy (including oil and gas)) - Sarah Boyack

Democracy Spokesperson (covering constitution, Europe, culture, power in society) - Claire Baker

Reform Spokesperson (covering party and parliamentary reform) - Mary Fee

Business Manager - James Kelly

Chief Whip - Neil Bibby



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